Yad Vashem January 2009


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My report on the Yad Vashem seminar for international Educators, Jerusalem, January 2009

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Yad Vashem January 2009

  1. 1. Yad Vashem International Seminar 2-22 January 2009 Presentation by Nigel Mitchell Who was there What we did The high points Some constructive criticism What am I going to do with this new knowledge?
  2. 2. Who was there <ul><li>Participants from 11 different countries </li></ul><ul><li>Jewish, Christian and secular </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers, academics, communicators </li></ul><ul><li>Speakers from Yad Vashem </li></ul><ul><li>Academics working in Jerusalem </li></ul><ul><li>Sho'ah survivors </li></ul>
  3. 3. What we did <ul><li>Eat – “noone comes home from Israel thinner than they were when they arrived” </li></ul><ul><li>Learnt about the Sho’ah, anti-semitism, Judaism, 20 th century history and Israel. </li></ul><ul><li>Visited and learnt the significance of Jewish and Christian holy sites and Israeli historical sites. </li></ul><ul><li>Saw some magnificent and very well planned museums. </li></ul><ul><li>Experienced a country at war. </li></ul>
  4. 4. The high points <ul><li>Survivor testimony </li></ul><ul><li>High standard of academic input </li></ul><ul><li>Tours of Jewish and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem </li></ul><ul><li>Yad Vashem and other museums </li></ul><ul><li>A diverse and interesting group of colleagues </li></ul>Nachum and Genya, “Schindler Jews”
  5. 5. Some constructive criticism <ul><li>Could have been more opportunity for sharing expertise and learning from each other within the group. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Top-down” pedagogy is outdated and less effective than more inclusive and collaborative models of teaching. </li></ul><ul><li>Not enough time for reflection or rest in the first half of the seminar </li></ul>
  6. 6. What am I going to do with this new knowledge? <ul><li>This year I am teaching Religion and History to students in years 7-11 in a Catholic secondary school. Although not teaching specifically about the Sho'ah, the topics I will be teaching include Judaism, Islam, 2 nd world war, as well as Christianity. I have gained an immense amount of information and new perspectives through the seminar which will inform my teaching. </li></ul><ul><li>I have also been asked to present a seminar to year 12 English Literature students in my school on the Sho’ah in connection with their study of Bernhard Schlink’s book The Reader. </li></ul>
  7. 7. What am I going to do with this new knowledge? (contd) <ul><li>I have already begun researching an article “antisemitism in the 21 st century” which I hope to publish in a journal or present at a conference later in the year </li></ul><ul><li>I plan to present a paper about Yad Vashem at the national History teachers conference in Melbourne in July 2009 </li></ul>
  8. 8. What am I going to do with this new knowledge? (contd) <ul><li>Encourage colleagues to consider attending a Yad Vashem seminar. </li></ul><ul><li>Find a way to return to Jerusalem for further study and/or with a group of students. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep in touch with Yad Vashem faculty and other participants. </li></ul><ul><li>Support Israel. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Thank You <ul><li>Nigel Mitchell </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher of Religion and History St Ignatius College Athelstone SA </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>http://me.edu.au/b/nbm/ </li></ul>